Development of Palm Oil Derivative Products for MSMEs
The trend of becoming an entrepreneur is currently something that attracts attention, especially for the millennial generation. There are so many reasons that support becoming an entrepreneur, with technological advances that are currently completely digital-based, many people dive into the scope of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises or more familiarly known as MSMEs.
In Indonesia, MSMEs continue to grow rapidly and the number of MSMEs continues growth each year. Based on data from the Ministry of Cooperatives and MSMEs, in 2010, it was noted that there were 52.7 million MSME business units and continued to grow until 2018, it is estimated that there were 62.9 million MSMEs in Indonesia.
The existence of this very large number of MSMEs spread throughout the country, which has a major contribution. The MSMEs sector also contributes to building the Indonesian economy with a contribution of 60.34 percent to Indonesia’s GDP. Not only that, MSMEs also contribute to the expansion and absorption of the workforce, which up to now has recorded around 116.4 million people or 89.2 percent of the total workforce and this number is greater than the absorption of labor for large businesses.
In line with this, the MSMEs sector needs to be encouraged to continue to grow. Especially during a pandemic like this, contribution and innovation is needed from MSME actors as one of the sectors that are expected to be the spearhead of the Indonesian economy so that it can continue to growth.
Palm oil is a commodity with a million benefits, can also be used to produce derivative products and of course can continue to be developed for the MSME sector. In this case, as said by Prof. Dr. Ir. Erliza Hambali, M.Si, who is a Professor of IPB in the TIN Online Seminar Series 2020, stated that all parts of palm oil have value and can be used to increase their added value. MSMEs players can use palm oil to create or develop products becomes downstream product, where the product is always needed for daily needs at the global level.
According to Prof. Erliza, SMEM’s product development can use methyl esters from palm oil to synthesize various types of surfactants. As we know that surfactants have an important role in various industries and in our daily basic needs. From waking up in the morning, washing your face, brushing your teeth, to other industries using products made from surfactants. This potential creates opportunities for MSMEs to be able to develop downstream palm oil products.
Methyl esters include basic oleo-chemicals, derivatives of triglycerides that can be produced through esterification and trans-esterification processes. Methyl ester can be converted into methyl ester sulfonate which can be widely applied in the detergent and cleaning industry, cosmetics and skincare, pharmaceuticals, food, mining (oil), paints and coatings, paper and textiles. Methyl Ester Sulfonate (MES) has good disperse characteristics, good lathering properties, especially in water with high hardness, and is easily degraded. In addition, methyl ester has the advantage of being environmentally friendly, gentle and doesn’t irritate the skin.
In addition, MSMEs player can develop oil palm liquid smoke. Solid waste namely oil palm empty bunches, can be used as raw material for making liquid smoke. Liquid smoke contains components such as phenols, organic acids and carbonyls which function as antibacterial and antifungal. One of the uses of liquid smoke is that it can be used as a raw material for making disinfectants. In a pandemic like now, disinfectants are a necessity in the new normal era, so the opportunities for MSMEs are very large.
The development of Vape (cigarettes electric) can also be maximized, in the liquid ape about 80 percent is glycerol which comes from plants, one of which is from oil palm. The market potential for this product is very large considering trend that a lot of millennial uses vape as a substitute for conventional cigarettes. This can also be a business opportunity for MSMEs who want to develop palm oil-based derivative products.
It turns out that there are so many downstream products that can be developed by utilizing palm oil both as a raw material and as a mixture, this also has an impact on increasing domestic absorption so that it will strengthen the national palm oil industry. Another implication of the development of product innovations that can be produced by MSMEs is expected to advance this sector so that it can continue to provide greater contributions to the Indonesian economy.
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